Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail

The internationally- renowned Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail opens on May 24. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the works which will be on show at Norfolk’s outdoor art gallery.

If you go down to Bergh Apton this weekend you're sure of a big surprise. Once again the idyllic village has been transformed into a stunning open-air art gallery and nestled away in the gardens you will find an astounding array of contemporary sculpture.Now in its fifth year, the Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail has become an internationally-renowned event on the arts calendar.

This time more than 60 sculptors will be exhibiting 200 works which explore the theme of how we balance our needs responsibly and ethically with those of nature.

Important East Anglian and international artists will exhibit alongside emerging talent from the Norwich School of Art and Design. There will also be a sculpture specially created by children from Alpington and Bergh Apton Primary School.

Many of the works will be for sale, with prices starting from as low as £50. Who knows, you could be picking up a work by the Henry Moore of the future.

The artists exhibiting include Christopher Le Brun, Katherine Dowson, Gary Breeze, John Bardell and Liz McGowan. And, for the first time, Zimbabwean Shona sculptures will be included as part of their nationwide tour.

EDP2 has had a sneak preview of the event, and pictured here are just a few of the works that captured our photographer's imagination - Paul Richardson's Red Indian taking aim with his bow and arrow, Lucy Unwin's graceful sculpture The Dance, Statue With Shield by Christopher Le Brun and the abstract piece Kiss by Mel Fraser.

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While the event attracts art lovers from across the region and beyond, it's also an event which brings the community together.

Its final day, on Sunday June 8, will be marked by a procession and outdoor performance involving children from four local primary schools - Alpington and Bergh Apton, Brooke, Thurton and Seething, who are joining together to perform a folk tale using storytelling, drama and songs written by the children.

It is being run by four professional, community artists based in Norfolk who each have many years experience and expertise - singer Sian Croose, storyteller Hugh Lupton, Hilary Lewis, who specialises in drama, and artist Kate Monroe.

A CD of the story and all the songs will be produced for the schools and community.

Hilary Lewis says: “This is an exciting addition to the 2008 sculpture trail. It will be a unique and uplifting experience. The children will really feel part of an historical and rural tradition. Is this event the start of something new - an inspiration for the future?”

The Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail is organised by the Bergh Apton Community Arts Trust (BACAT) and has six key aims: to provide an opportunity for the village community to work together; to foster talent by stimulating artistic, creative and organisational strengths; to bring the arts to a small rural community; to provide a showcase giving an opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of the arts in East Anglia; to raise funds for the maintenance of the church, village hall, selected village projects and other charitable projects with Bergh Apton connections and to invest in future arts events in Bergh Apton.

t The Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail 2008 will be open from 10.30am-6pm on the following dates: Saturday May 24 and Sunday May 25; Saturday May 31 and Sunday June 1; Saturday June 7 and Sunday June 8.

t Admission costs £10 for one day or £15 for two days. Children under 16 get in free and there are concessions for South Norfolk Leisure Passport holders.

t The car park is accessed via Thurton off the A146 with limited parking at the church and disabled parking at the village hall. To promote environmentally responsible practice and reduce the carbon footprint of the trail, it is for walkers and cyclists only, although there will be taxi assistance for the less mobile.

t There will also be additional events during the festival, including music, storytelling, stone carving and creative workshops.

t www.berghaptonsculpturetrail.com